Adapt and Thrive: Interviewing Britain’s Small Business Heroes. Meet The Goodwash Company

Welcome to our new series where, every week, we interview some of Britain’s brightest independent businesses to hear how they’ve adapted and thrived through lockdown and beyond.

This week we met Mandy Powell and Kelly Davies, owners of The Goodwash Company.

Hi Mandy and Kelly, can you tell us a bit about The Goodwash Company?

The Goodwash Company is a luxury wash and lifestyle brand, created in Wales in 2018.

Our mission is to change the world one wash at a time using products that are sourced with the finest natural ingredients from the land and sea. Our products are cruelty-free and vegan certified.

We’re grateful for every single sale we make as it’s a means for us to get out into the community, fund life-changing activities for both people and animals, and uphold our commitment to do good.

Who is your business aimed at?

Our much cared for customers are good people, wanting to do good too. At the same time, they’re rewarded with a luxury product that doesn’t compromise on quality - a win-win for everyone.

The Goodwash Company also appears in the washrooms of establishments including the award-winning Grove at Narberth in South West Wales, celebrity chef Gareth Ward’s ‘Ynyshir’ and Bryn Williams ‘Odettes’ restaurant in Primrose Hill.

Can you talk us through some of your biggest milestones to date?

Absolutely! Firstly, we’re proud that our products are 100% Natural, Vegan Certified. They’re approved for both human and animal use (which is a first in the UK market) and created in Wales. We did this because we believe in making products that make a real difference to both humans and animals, driving a real conscious consumer movement.

Over time, we’ve formed collaborations with long-established, and well-known Welsh brands with a national and global footprint including; Halen Mon Salt; Gower Gin; The Dirty Vegan; Sam and Shauna’s Hang Fire Southern Kitchen.

During our first 12 months of trading, we had a turnover of £150,000, and our year to date figures indicate this will quadruple, at a minimum. This has seen our workforce increase to five full-time staff members, and we have won awards from Wales Start Up and Cardiff Life Platinum and Welsh Language.

Now, we’re about to open our flagship store in Goodsheds development in Barry, South Wales in summer 2020!

In addition to this, we’ve been reinvesting in community projects thanks to multiple income streams from  ‘In Good Company’ Events and Creative Workshops that have included mindful drawing classes.

How has PayPal helped you reach these milestones?

PayPal has provided the solution to our payment challenge, in one very easy to manage account.

It enabled us to reach more customers and made it easy for us to get paid.

Additionally, we were able to access PayPal Working Capital. This cash advance option made perfect sense to us. It can be difficult and time-consuming to secure business funding, but PayPal Working Capital allowed us to access funds quickly to purchase stock and help us grow by fulfilling sales orders.

Was your business impacted when the UK went into lockdown?

Yes, overnight!

Our flagship retail store opening was delayed. Events where we hold pop-ups were cancelled (and continue to be). Retail partners such as Harrods and John Lewis closed, along with our trade customers operating hotels, restaurants and zero waste shops.

All of which had a major negative impact on forecasted cash flow - particularly as trade customers were not paying for stock outlaid, and bulk stock had to be purchased to avoid issues in the supply chain while the crisis continued.

Did you make any changes to continue trading during this time? 

Our focus had to shift entirely to generating income online to survive, repay debt, and retain jobs. These efforts were all in the hope we could then grow again in the future (as initially planned) and as lockdown would lift.

Because of our social purpose and product offering - we were also able to step up and respond to the crisis and growing need for people to wash their hands frequently to save lives!

During Covid-19, Goodwash became the first company in the global market to reduce prices by offering discounts (as opposed to increasing) to ensure affordability by all and to help save lives. We donated over 10,000 wash products to the NHS, Key Workers and vulnerable members of the local community. We launched a virtual volunteer programme – so those socially isolated could continue to support our work. And, we created a virtual 6-week art programme for our customers to raise awareness of mental health issues and influence positive change during and after lockdown.

How did PayPal support you?

PayPal enabled us to take our business online and accept a range of payments from anywhere in the world. This sounds so simple, but the simplicity is what gave us the edge, the ability to move quickly, keep processing transactions, grow our business and look after our full-time staff.

What does the future look like for The Goodwash Company?

We are focused on becoming a strong commercial Welsh business, with real sustainable and measurable social impact at the heart of everything we do.

We want to showcase the very best of Wales to the world, through every washroom shelf. We’re beyond excited about the opening of our flagship retail store and community space at the Good Shed development, the UK’s first urban high street in Barry, South Wales (the home of Gavin and Stacey).

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